I used to work on pools right out of high school so I'm not a true newbie. I've built pools (obviously as a laborer rather than a plasterer) and done a lot of work on them in regards to plumbing, acid washing, etc.
All that said, I've never actually had to maintain my own pool up until 3 months ago when I bought a house. The following represents a timeline of my experience with the pool:
Pool cover had major holes in it so it was basically filled with a 1" thick pile of "stuff"
Took the cover off and threw it away
Filled the pool with new water and started the filter. (in hindsight - fully draining and scooping out the "stuff" would have probably been better
Spent a week of backwashing 2X a day and running filter 24/7 and scooping out leaves
Couldn't get the water to clear up so I dosed a boatload of Alum and vaccummed to waste - problem solved!
Kept trying to get the FC levels up through dosing granular cholorine and overloading a floating pool dispenser with 3" tabs (still couldn't get it to budge)
Spent a week cursing Gackels (a native bird that deposits it's babies poop in the pool to keep predators away)
Spent a day installing a plastic owl and monofilament above the pool to solve Gackel problem.
Just when I thought the pool was doing well - Green Algae rears it's ugly head.
So - since I had an algae problem I went to the shock method. I bought the 1lb 65% chlorine bags and proceeded to put 2 of them in to the pool.
My filtration system is on a timer and running about 8 hours a day (I had completely forgotten this so my "run the pumps for 24 hours" phase of the shock process didn't work).
Crappy dip strip test still shows zero for FC.
Threw in 2 more lbs of shock and retested - still zero....
And that's when I started looking for a little help. Based on some reading here, it would appear that CYA is an important factor that I knew nothing about... Pretty facinating reading learning about how a higher CYA can cause you to have to use higher levels of shock to be effective.
So that said dip strip shows 0 FC - 4 TC - TA/PH/CAL all in relatively sweet zones....
25000 gallons of pool water...all of which is still cloudy and green as of this morning. And yes, I brushed the pool after the first dose and yesterday's dose.
What would you suggest?